What is Yokai?
Yokai is a Noongar call to action – enough is enough! In an organisational context it is a significant human rights initiative developed by the Bringing Them Home Committee (WA) and the WA Stolen Generations Alliance (soon to be the WA Stolen Generations Aboriginal Corporation). This has happened through extensive consultation and research on ways to provide a holistic, integrated approach to dealing with the effects of ongoing trauma suffered by the Stolen Generations and their families.
Our approach is based on real outcomes for the Aboriginal Community and will deliver long-term cost efficiencies for government in terms of human services delivery.
Our vision is for Stolen Generations Survivors and their families to heal their spirit.
Our purpose is to support the social and emotional wellbeing of WA individuals and families adversely affected by policies and practices of separating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, communities, Country and Culture.
YOKAI! will address the needs of individuals and families adversely affected by policies and practices of separating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from their family, community, country and culture.
The five petal Native Hibiscus is used in WA as a symbol for the Stolen Generations. It was chosen by Survivors (from Kimberley Stolen Generation Aboriginal Corporation) to symbolise the scattering of the Stolen Generations and their resilience to the policies that saw children forcibly taken away from their families, communities, Country and Culture. It has been planted at commemorative events such as our annual Sorry Days in Perth, given away as fabric lapel pieces, on posters and it is the inspiration for our logo.
Our first priority is to address the damage done to the community up to the 1970’s by the persistence of racially determined laws such as the WA Aborigines Protection Act, the appallingly racist WA Education Act of 1938 that excluded Aboriginal children from the education system, the 1905 Aborigines Act which resulted in institutionalised racism and created what amounted to Aboriginal “concentration camps” in which the Aboriginal people were to be confined until the race became extinct.
However the community has also formed the organisation to support their children and grandchildren whose lives have become dysfunction through the intergenerational transfer of their trauma. We will support programs that work with children institutionalised and traumatised under current laws as well.
This is because the current system is freely admitting to the removal of more Aboriginal children from their families than ever before. We are well attuned to and have presented to the current Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse and have been considering its reactions to the forward redress recommendations. Tragically the percentage of Aboriginal people making statements to the Commission is astronomically higher than the relative percentage of its population and sadly this could have been avoided if the recommendations of the Bringing Them Home Report had been taken seriously almost two decades earlier.
This alone presents a powerful example of the continued desire of governments of all flavours to avoid meaningful investment in the root causes of ongoing Aboriginal disadvantage.